I remember the last eclipse that I saw. I was just a teenager, still in middle school and it was an event I got to experience with all my classmates. We gathered outside in the schoolyard, it was the middle of day. The sun was hot. We used hand made eclipse viewers, not the fancy glasses we have today, to watch the sun gradually disappear behind the moon. For those few minutes, the world around me got dark and the temperature dropped. Even though that was long time ago, I still remember quite vividly.
Many years later, when I was 30, I lost my sight.
In the beginning, I made a choice. I had to accept and embrace my new disability. When I was able to do that it helped me to see that my disability actually enabled me and gave me the ability to pursue things that I never would have had the opportunity to before.
Then I started researching. I wanted to know what tools were available to me to help me navigate my new life. Technology continues to grow by leaps and bounds. The advancements available now are amazing and allow visually impaired people to enjoy a fulfilling life, many are even able to travel independently.
One of the latest pieces of technology I use is Aira.
Aira uses the AT&T network to connect me to a live visual assistant. Because the network connection is so strong, the Aira agent is able to pull up my location, have access to the camera on my smartglasses, give me directions, describe what's around me, help me order food and provide information like never before.
But it’s not only about navigating daily life. When I'm with my family, I use this connection to connect with them. My agent describes what my twin nephews doing, what are they getting into, what they're wearing, what they're playing with, if they're smiling. That’s why I am excited to share this next eclipse with them. I wonder what they will think of their first eclipse experience and can’t wait to see the expressions on their faces as they watch the moon move in front of the sun, see the world get dark and feel the temperature drop.
I know it will be a moment I won’t forget.
James Boehm - Aira Explorer